With Jorge De La Rosa taking the mound agianst one of the most potent offenses against LHP in Coors Field, rostering Nationals hitters is a must on this slate. Start your lineups with Wilson Ramos. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s MLB.
Wilson Ramos, Nationals, $10,000 – Slates without true aces worth paying up for that include multiple subpar pitchers correlate to days where spending up for hitting is the preferred play…today is one of those days. With the most expensive pitching option being Max Scherzer taking the mound in Coors Field, hitting is plentiful, including multiple pieces of the offense that will be providing Scherzer with support. The Rockies will start Jorge De La Rosa who actually is coming off four consecutive games without allowing more than three ER. With that being said, three of those came on the road, and his game prior he was absolutely lit up by the Rays in Coors Field to the tune of 4.0 IP, 13 base runners and nine runs. His splits indicate he has actually pitched better in Coors but he has still allowing RHHs to slash .271/.379/.478 against him in Coors Field with five bombs and a .365 wOBA. Meanwhile, Wilson Ramos is third in the league in AVG (.332) behind only Jose Altuve (.365) and Daniel Murphy (.348). Considering Ramos has produced a .407 wOBA and team-leading .313 ISO against LHP, Coors Field may not be able to hold him in the park on Monday. He’s an absolutely elite play in all formats despite the fact he plays catcher.
Marcus Semien, Athletics, $8,700 – On Friday, Marcus Semien drew the start in the leadoff spot against Wade Miley and managed four hits. This performance brought his wOBA up to .391 against LHP to go along with his .304 ISO and .294/.333/.598 slash line against the handedness. Probable starter Martin Perez has already allowed 12 HRs to RHHs including seven at home. Overall, righties are slashing .288/.358/.432 against Perez with a .342 wOBA. Semien and all the Athletics hitters will experience a drastic positive ballpark shift in heading to Ballpark in Arlington and Perez just struggles to retire right-handers. All of the Athletics right-handed staples are in play (Jake Smolinski and Danny Valencia) but Semien is the safest of the bunch for cash games because he hits in the premiere spot in the order. Oh by the way, the Athletics are implied to score 4.5 runs, which is actually a substantial total for this offense.
Jayson Werth, Nationals, $10,500 – As eluded to in the Ramos tidbit, Nationals right-handed bats (and Daniel Murphy) are of the utmost importance tonight because of their incredibly favorable spot against a mediocre opponent in Coors Field. Furthermore, Jayson Werth is a notorious lefty killer and his numbers against them this season are just flat-out ridiculous: .439 wOBA, .279 ISO, 12.2-percent BB rate, .350/.426/.620 slash line and a ridiculous 48.1-percent hard hit rate. De La Rosa misses bats at a less-than-stellar 16.2-percent rate against RHP so Werth should be expected to make contact (probably multiple times). Assuming he makes contact, and the contact is hard contact nearly half the time, fireworks could be on the horizon and you won’t want to miss out.
Ian Desmond, Rangers, $9,600 – One of my favorite splits to take advantage of continues to be Ian Desmond at home against left-handers. In David Ortiz-esque fashion, Desmond has just absolutely destroyed a single handedness of pitching in his home park to video game levels. In 53 ABs against LHP at home, Desmond has hit four HRs, driven in 14 and is slashing .434/.436/.736 with a .302 ISO and .485 wOBA. Additionally, according to FanGraphs pitch type linear ranks, Desmond has rated as the team’s second best fastball hitter this season behind only Rougned Odor. In a matchup against Ross Detwiler, who throws his fastball 78.2-percent of the time for his career, the ability to mash fastballs is a necessary skill set (and Desmond clearly can). Consequently, Desmond is firmly on “bomb watch” and is one of my favorite handful of hitters to roster in cash games (though he possesses the necessary GPP upside as well).
Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks, $18,400 – Although I realize the downside of facing the same offense in a week span, the fact of the matter is there just isn’t much pitching to choose from on this slate. Therefore, I’m going back to the well with Robbie Ray against the Mets after he just mowed them down in Citi Field. This game is a tougher task because he’ll be pitching in his much more hitter-friendly home park (Chase Field). Nevertheless, this Mets offense just doesn’t pack a whole lot of punch against LHP beyond Wilmer Flores. They rank in the bottom 10 of wOBA, BB rate, wRC+, OBP and hard hit rate while striking out at the fourth highest percentage (23.5-percent) of any team against the handedness. Ray is listed as a -123 favorite at home, which isn’t as heavy as I’d like, but on this slate will have to take it.
Drew Smyly, Rays, $17,600 – The best time to roster Drew Smyly is against teams without a healthy amount of power due to all the fly balls he allows (31.4-percent GB rate). The frustrating part with Smyly is he strikes out batters at above a league-average level (8.98 K/9) so the potential is there if he could ever put it all together. Well, now feels like the right time to deploy him in a matchup against the recently decimated Padres lineup. After losing both Matt Kemp and Melvin Upton, two of their best bats against LHP, they now rank in the bottom half of wOBA, ISO, AVG and OBP against the handedness. The most enticing part of the matchup is the Padres hefty 24.3-percent K rate against southpaws combined with Smyly’s propensity to miss bats. Smyly’s ERA at home is more than a run better at home so this is a prime spot to deploy him.
Matt Moore, Giants, $17,100 – If one of the aforementioned duo doesn’t float your boat, maybe Matt Moore at home against the Pirates will. The Giants are listed as -145 favorites in a game with a projected 7.5 run over/under. Although the Pirates rank in the top 10 of a handful of sabermetric categories against LHP (wOBA, wRC+, BB rate, AVG, OBP and hard hit rate), they strike out at a rate of 22.9-percent versus LHP. Also, they’ll experience an extreme negative ballpark shift heading to AT&T Park. On paper, this matchup is not as favorable as the last two so Moore actually projects better for GPP, but those feeling risky could deploy him in cash. If rostering him, the good news is he has only posted a 3.00 ERA since moving to the National League. However, the bad news is his WHIP is still as high as ever (1.42 with the Giants). It’s your call but I love both him and Luis Perdomo as tournament pivots from the other two pitchers in the article.
*Stats are accurate as of Sunday, August 14